We spent most of the day of our first day at sea between Sydney and Melbourne navigating around the ship to find out where everything fitted – restaurants, bars, shopping areas etc
We had a cloudy morning, which brightened in to a blue sea and blue sky day with very good visibility. We were able to see the Bass Strait oil rigs in the distance. Unfortunately it was not warm enough to sit out on the balcony – too windy.
During our exploring we found the ‘Wake bar’ in the stern of the ship, which was closed at the time – too early, but we were able to get in and take some photographs of our wake through ‘portholes’.
When I was at sea we had a helmsman (as against auto steering) to steer our ship, and being a first trip cadet I had to do a number of hours steering to gain my helmsman’s certificate – this was required before I could take my 2nd Mates ticket. I was required to keep the wake arrow straight. I remember my first effort, and the Captain saying to me that the war was over and it was no longer required for me to zig zag as the German submarines had been defeated . . . I did gain my helmsman’s certificate after the required number of hours of doing it correctly.
Spiral staircase leading down to Wake bar.
Bar area under the portholes – they look like windows, but close up they only allow light in through the ‘porthole’ area.
The Atrium was different again – and always popular.
Last year we sailed in the Island Princess with 1960 passengers, this year on Diamond Princess there are 2,900 passengers and the difference is noticeably in many of the public areas, even though the Diamond is bigger than the Island – about 22,000 tons. Although the restaurants have not been crowded, just enough people, but the self service Horizon Restaurant always seems to be well attended.
The British Captain, on the small Atrium balcony, giving the passengers a warm welcome.
Once the speech was over the staff finished off the Champaign fountain.